A week ago we shared a photo showing Nikon’s factory in Thailand submerged due to the catastrophic flooding happening there. The latest news is that both Nikon and Sony have had their camera factories severely damaged, which may have cause delays of at least 1-2 months. 90% of Nikon’s SLR cameras — the low to mid-range ones — are produced at the company’s Thailand plant, while 100% of Sony DSLRs are made at its now-damaged factory.
Nikon was expected to announce a new DSLR by the end of this year, but it seems like that may be postponed indefinitely at this point. Sony’s new NEX-7 and A65 cameras have been pulled from Amazon due to “manufacturing concerns”.
Rather than being built from scratch with new designs, new camera lenses are designed by taking existing lens designs that work well and then improving on them. As a result, virtually every lens design can be traced back to one of six basic lens designs developed in the early 1900s (shown above). Roger Cicala of LensRentals writes,
Those original lenses in their pure form each had strengths and weaknesses. Modern lenses derived from them have ‘inherited’ those same underlying tendencies. Many of the complex technologies used in a modern lens are put there to correct the underlying problems of the original design.
Head on over to his post to learn about lenses derived from the first three of these designs.
Most people balked at the $100 price tag of LockCircle’s professional body cap when it was announced last month, but one thing is certain: manufacturing them is a lot more complicated than injecting some plastic into a mould. This behind-the-scenes video shows how the cap is crafted out of solid billett aluminum in 79 different steps. Ordinary plastic body caps should suffice for more DSLR owners, but perhaps the company will find customers among hardcore shooters who need the extra sealing for harsh environments.
You might have heard about Leica’s legendary manufacturing quality, but have you seen it? The company released this promotional video a couple days ago providing a behind-the-scenes peek into its production facilities.
Want to see how instant film for Polaroid cameras is made? How It’s Made recently paid a visit to The Impossible Project‘s factory in the Netherlands (purchased from Polaroid a few years ago) to give us a neat behind-the-scenes look at the processes that go into making the popular film.
Fujifilm recently put out this infomercial showing the company’s efforts to restore production capabilities after having their manufacturing plant damaged by the disastrous earthquake and tsunami back in March. We get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what the manufacturing plant looks like, and the assembly line that puts the X100 together.
Here’s a short documentary film directed by Oskar Barnack (father of 35mm photography and inventor of the Leica camera) showing the workings of the factory where the first Leica cameras were made. The film includes footage showing the assembly of the Leica 1, produced between 1925 and 1932.
Here’s an interesting video that walks through how the highly regarded — and fully manual — Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras is made at the Cosina plant in Nagano, Japan (jump to 2:30 to skip the intro). It’s interesting how each of the 10 aperture blades must be carefully set in the lens using tweezers.
Nikon created this beautiful video promoting Nikkor lenses, and included interesting looks into how their lenses are manufactured. Previously we shared a post showing how Canon manufactures their 500mm lens.
This Science Channel “How Its Made” segment shows the manufacturing process for CCD semiconductors, which are the sensors found in many digital cameras. For the difference between CCD and CMOS, check out this How Stuff Works article.